Talking Through the Design: Supporting Students' Digital Video Composing Processes Through Dialogic Engagement

Talking Through the Design: Supporting Students' Digital Video Composing Processes Through Dialogic Engagement

Nichole M. Barrett (University at Buffalo (SUNY), USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0246-4.ch002


In this chapter the author details the experiences of one high school English language arts teacher, Mr. Jeremiah Johnson, and the literacy pedagogy he enacted in order to support students as they composed with digital video. The author will highlight the ways that a dialogic, design-based pedagogy gave students in an after-school film club the opportunity to explore digital design and navigate compositional challenges, all while retaining autonomy over their projects. The chapter adds to the scholarship by drawing attention to social literacy practices and process as transformational meaning-making opportunities for students that foreground individual identities and literacies.
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Shifting definitions of literacy, coupled with an increasingly digital world have led researchers to explore the multimodal and digital literacy practices of youth both in and out of the classroom (e.g. Alvermann, 2010; Bruce, Sullivan, Barrett, & Gonzalez, 2019; Lankshear & Knobel, 2011; Shanahan, McVee, & Bailey, 2014; Wolfe & Flewitt, 2010). This includes a growing body of research that explores multimodal (e.g., Hull & Nelson, 2005; Miller, 2010, Siegel, 2006; Vasudevan, 2006) and digital (e.g., Curwood, Magnifico, & Lammers, 2013; Lankshear & Knobel, 2006; Tavers, 2015) literacy practices. In addition, many educators and researchers continue to draw upon the social practices of students within and across classroom, community, and digital spaces. Doing so increases the resources available to students as a part of learning and meaning-making while providing them with opportunities develop and retain learner autonomy. What it means to read and write continues to expand as definitions of literacy absorb modes and texts including film, television, video games, magazines, music, and image.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mode: Any of the different semiotic sign systems that may be used to convey meaning. This includes image, sound, color, font, gesture, layout, etc.

Design: As a noun, design refers to the available modes, texts, and experiences that students drew upon throughout the composition process. As a verb, design refers to the construction, negotiation, and processing of meaning as a part of the compositional process.

Discourses: In this chapter discourses refers to the available languages, ideas, and resources students have access to as a result of their individual literacy practices and identities.

Multimodal: The use of multiple modes and discourses to convey meaning.

Dialogic Engagement: Any instance in which students engaged talked through their process verbally with Johnson, or a peer.

Film Club: The use of title case reflects the context specifically associated with the space and identities that Film Club was defined by. Film Club was treated as a proper noun by its members and as such the author wished to retain that designation.

Multiliteracies: Drawing on the definition put forth by The New London Group (1996) , in this chapter multiliteracies refers to pedagogy that draws upon the totality of students’ literacy practices and discourses as learning tools.

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